Wednesday 5 August

With Stanley Kyle of Belfast City Mission and Johanne Martin from Crosslinks

Stanley Kyle is a busy man. He is involved of the work of Belfast City Mission, Arab World Ministry and Frontiers to name just a few organisations. He is well equipped to lead the topical and emotive issue of “Loving the least –asylum seekers”.

Stanley, began the seminar at New Horizon by highlighting Scripture that demonstrated how Jesus intended us to treat one another. Many of these are well known but we often struggle to remember them when we are faced with the reality of “foreigners” infiltrating what we perceive as our world, our cities, our streets.

Matthew 19:30: “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least now, will be the greatest then.”

Exodus 22:21: “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”

The floor was open for questions throughout the seminar so there was lively conversation between the speakers and a well-informed, passionate audience. There was a lot of experience in the room but also people who wanted to learn about what they could do and what were the best ways to help vulnerable people who have entered our society.

Two threads ran through the discussion that focused on helping people. Firstly, that God is bringing the world to us, which means outstanding opportunities to share the gospel, and secondly, we are called to love one another. Here the New Horizon Media team brings you a summary of some of the key points:

“Only by making such a big issue personal can we begin to get a sense of what these people go through before they become faces on our streets. Many are fleeing persecution and slavery, only to be thrown into a torture regime here. They are afraid of the process in place that is meant to be helping them. They are left in a queue. They are left to dangle. “

“There are not many choices available for refugees. When you’ve got money you’ve got choices. When you’re in poverty, you’ve no choice.”

But how can “ordinary” Christians get involved?

I’m not some expert, all I’m doing is loving people – Stanley Kyle

“You have to see people, notice them. Then talk to them.”

Johanne shared that she prayed that God would guide her to the right people, which He did. Some of these people are now close friends.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just be with people – Stanley Kyle 

“The fact is these people have come here. I didn’t bring them. I’m not responsible for keeping them. What do we do as Christians, with people that God has brought into our land? For me, I see God has brought me people to share the gospel with. They are here, and I encourage them. I ask them, “What’s God going to do with your life while you are here?”

“Opportunities are rife to show God’s love. Nowadays, many countries are not safe for missionaries or aid workers to go into so God is doing His miraculous work, He is bringing the world to us. We need to welcome the strangers in”.